Friday, June 29, 2007

ZenTiger Idiocy Continues

Idiot/Savant recently declared National MP Dr Nick Smith and National MP Dr Jonathon Coleman to be misogynists for one of them calling Tizard a witch. I thought he was just a little over the top. Especially considering he wrote a "they were begging for it" post a while ago when Mallard called a certain group of women "chinless scarf wearers". But of course, going over the top works very well if you ration your barbs wisely. Which is why he probably shut down his comments section.

But here is idiot again, gushing that Labour list MP Charles Chauvel is keen on lowering the voting age. But dissenting opinion? We'll have none of that in lefty-land - and he deals to Winston Peters with all the cunning of a sewer rat: Rather than the pedophobic attitudes displayed by Winston Peters..

Peters wants to keep the voting age the same. For this opinion, Idiot brands him a "pedophobe". I shudder to think what he'd be called resisting enfranchisement to 12 year olds.

Related Link: Left Wing Tolerance in Action

Update: Thanks pdm; corrected Coleman's name.

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

ZenTiger Deer are people too

Scientists have made major breakthroughs in isolating the stupidity gene:
Macho fathers can be confident their sons will take after them, but their daughters are likely to be weaklings, a study of red deer has demonstrated.
"We think it very likely that any fathers who butt heads against their colleagues will have daughters incapable of escaping hound dogs."

When asked why these scientists chose deer to study, instead of, say, sheep, or even (deer I say) people they were emphatic that there is no discernible difference between deers and humans. "Even their habitats are the same". [my supposition]

Perhaps it comes down to a matter of faith? These "scientists" obviously have great faith the differences between deer and human are not significant. It is a matter of faith that we will continue to believe all research conducted by scientists is good.

Apparently, this study proved "evolution can't find an optimum for both sexes".

In another study of jelly fish, scientists claim that families with too much salt in their diet tend to drift apart after a while.

It is not known how much money these scientists received for this research, but it may be money well spent if we can prove that most researchers of this ilk carry the stupidity gene. I think the science of sociology has a long way to go.

Meanwhile, other scientists have announced that excessive aspartame (a neurotoxin) use by rats can lead them to develop cancer. The public have been urged not to feed rats diet coke, or let them near chewing gum. Ironically, when a human female recently reported a negative reaction to excessive aspartame use via chewing gum, the findings were brushed away. "No scientific evidence" was the suggestion. Obviously, if we can observe similar behaviour and reaction in armadillos, we could have conclusive evidence. But observing the same in a human, sample size 1, only leads to experts pointing out that physiology between humans is far too diverse for this to have any meaningful credibility.

In other news, arsenic has been declared safe for human consumption after a successful trial on sheep.

Related Link: Stag-gering Research

And funnily enough, an interesting sheep and arsenic trial

There's too much stuff about aspartame and rats to bother linking. My hint - avoid aspartame like the plague, but don't rely on studies on rats to tell you that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Lucia Paedophile alert

It seems nothing can be done about a known teenage paedophile, apart from one on one supervision until he turns 20, unless he does something. Great. Just wonderful. I would have thought that entering a backyard to play with children was doing something untoward on his part. Yet it's not enough. What is required is a child sacrifice before the police can do anything effective.

For more, see Teenage sex predator a 'ticking time bomb'

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ZenTiger Education Standards in NZ improve

Children are thought to be better off with the Ministry of Education's radical new plan to improve teaching outcomes.
The Education Ministry is to cut the primary school year by a week.

The ministry has confirmed a two-week break between terms one and two effective this year would continue in future years.

Easter would often occur during that break, but would not next year, ministry spokesman Vince Cholewa said. Normal statutory holidays will apply for Easter.
Related Link: Teachers granted an extra weeks stress leave

ZenTiger Witch Tizard do we believe?

Idiot/Savant sums it up on Tizard:

If you give it out, you get it back. You can't participate in politics in a dirty and underhanded manner and then get upset when people point the fact out or call your motives into question. To do so is purest hypocrisy.

But here, I think Tizard is being a little bit too precious, particularly given her willingness to sling the shit around herself."

And he rightfully points out that Mallard is nothing but a misogynst. I mean, calling a group of women "chinless scarf wearers".

Sounds like another witch hunt from the liberal left.

Related Link: How to start a witch hunt

Another Related Link: Pure Misogyny

Lucia Get back on your broomstick

Idiot/Savant seems very upset that Judith Tizard was told to get back on her broomstick. He considers that the inference that Tizard is a witch to be misogyny as only "uppity women" are called witches.

Which got me thinking. How does a person leap from a woman being called a witch to considering any one that calls a woman a witch to be misogynistic? Then it struck me - those that consider anything calling to mind a woman to be an insult. Especially if the object of the insult is indeed a woman.

In other words, the ultimate insult is to be called a woman. A gender-neutral term is ok, because then the woman is not reminded that she is a woman. All the gender-neutral people are happy because to be a woman of any sort, except a gender-neutral woman, is obviously insulting.

So it all makes sense now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fletch No Satire Please, We're Politicians!

A report has just been released from the Standing Orders Committee for recommendations about television coverage in the House. You can see the the report here. Anyway, one of the proposed conditions of televised coverage is that it should not be used as 'satire, ridicule or denigration'.

In other words, politicians don't want us to see them making asses out of themselves; ie, they don't want to be seen in their natural state ;)

There goes the freedom of the press. Not surprising that the union is up in arms about it all.

Fletch Family Planning Makes Things Worse

Finally!!
Someone in the MSM has written an article in the Dom Post questioning why the Govt is giving so much funding to Family Planning when Family Planning is the root cause (pun intended) of the problem of this country's high rates of pregnancy and abortion. Family Planning's response? More sex education is needed - yeh, right.. As the author points out -

Now that statistics show overwhelmingly that its approach has been a disaster, the FPA's self-serving argument is that we're not doing enough. It wrings its hands and says we need to redouble our efforts. In effect it calls for more petrol to be thrown on the fire. Never is there any suggestion of responsibility for the mess it's helped create.

The dismal picture of sexual disease and unwanted pregnancy among young New Zealanders will confirm what many have long suspected. Under the guise of encouraging "safe sex" the FPA has in reality been promoting promiscuity, and at the same time vigorously subverting parental authority.



Read the whole article - it's right on the button.

Monday, June 25, 2007

ZenTiger Famous Friends

My friend Bubba was bragging to his boss one day. "You know, I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone - anyone - and I know them."

Tired of his boasting, his boss called his bluff, "Okay, Bubba, how about Tom Cruise"? "Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends and I can prove it."

So, Bubba and his boss fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door and sure enough, Tom Cruise, shouts, "Bubba ! Great to see You! You and your friend come right in and join me for lunch!"

Although impressed, Bubba's boss is still skeptical. After they leave Cruise's house, he tells Bubba that he thinks Bubba's knowing Cruise was just lucky.

"No, no, just name anyone else," Bubba says. "President Bush," his Boss quickly retorts. Yep", Bubba says, "I know him, let's fly out to Washington."

So, off they go. At the White House, Bush spots Bubba on the tour and motions him and his boss over, saying, "Bubba, what a surprise. I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and let's have a cup of coffee first and catch up." Well, the boss is very shaken by now, but still not totally convinced.

After they leave the White House grounds, he expresses his doubts to Bubba, who again implores him to name anyone else. "The Pope," his boss replies.

"Sure!" says Bubba. "I've known the Pope a long time." So, off they fly to Rome. Bubba and his boss are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Bubba says, this will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards, so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the
balcony with the Pope."

He disappears into the crowd headed toward St. Peter's. Sure enough, half an hour later, Bubba emerges with the Pope on the balcony. But by the time Bubba returns, he finds that his Boss has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics.

Working his way to his boss' side, Bubba asks him, "What happened"? His boss looks up and says, "I was doing fine until you and The Pope came out on the balcony and the Japanese tourist next to me asked,"Who's that on the balcony with Bubba"?

Lucia We are R rated

Online Dating

Not surprising, really. We got pulled up on the following terms:

* porn (3x)
* abortion (2x)
* prick (1x)

Probably best that children don't read us.

Lucia Children need synthetic phonics to read well

When children are taught to read via a synthetic phonics system, they read better than their peers who are generally taught either using an analytic phonics or whole language approach. What's more, boys really excel with their reading as they get older, while as the normal reading methods in use in countries such as NZ favour girls. So overall, all children read better, but boys better still with the synthetic phonics approach.
Phonics, a teaching method replaced decades ago by whole language teaching, reversed the gender divide in a seven-year British study to be published in a book in August.

The study found boys outperformed girls in reading and spelling when they were systematically taught synthetic phonics, an accelerated phonics programme. All students taught the programme read well above the average reading age - but at 11, boys were about 9.5 months ahead of girls.
I don't know about everyone else, but this has got me wondering. Given that boys do really well in reading when taught using synthetic phonics, will that fact alone count against it being pushed in New Zealand? I hope I'm not being overly paranoid.

So, what is synthetic phonics? From the Scottish report:
Synthetic phonics is used in Germany and Austria and is generally taught before children are introduced to books or reading. It involves teaching small groups of letters very rapidly, and children are shown how letter sounds can be co-articulated to pronounce unfamiliar words. In a UK version of synthetic phonics, i.e. Hickey's Multi-Sensory Language Course (Augur and Briggs,1992), the first block of letter sounds is 's', 'a', 't', 'i', 'p', 'n', which make up more three-letter words than any other six letters. Children are shown many of the words that these letters generate (e.g. 'sat', 'tin', 'pin').

In our version of synthetic phonics children use magnetic letters to build up words and to help them understand how letter sounds can be blended together to pronounce the words. In order to read a word, the appropriate magnetic letters are set out; the children then blend the letter sounds together, smoothly co-articulating them, whilst pushing the letters together. The approach is also used for learning to spell (and to reinforce blending for reading). The children listen to a spoken word, select the letters for the sounds, and then push the letters together, sounding and blending them to pronounce the word. Consonant blends are not explicitly taught at all as they can be read by blending, although digraphs (i.e. a phoneme represented by two letters e.g. 'sh', 'th', 'ai', 'oa') are taught.

A typical lesson using our scheme would be as follows. Soon after starting school, the children are taught the sounds for the letters 't', 'a', and 'p'. Then a child at the front of the class is asked to select these letters from the teacher's large magnetic board, and to place them in a row below the other letters of the alphabet. The class then give the sounds of the letters, 't', 'a', 'p' and then blend the sounds together to pronounce the word 'tap', whilst the letters are pushed together. Spelling is taught in the same session, the teacher either saying or showing a picture of a word using the letters that have been taught. The children pick out the letters for the sounds that they hear in the word, and place them together on their own magnetic boards. They will then sound and blend, pushing the letters together.
Cool, huh?

Related Links:
Bridging the reading gap - Sunday Star Times

A Seven Year Study of the Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment - The Scottish Study

Lucia No one expects the Spanish Inquisition

When I posted a while back on Cardinal Pell's insistence that all Catholic educators in Australia make a Profession of Faith, I commented that the same sort of thing wouldn't go astray here in NZ (on another thread). That seems to be putting it lightly if the following report is anything to go by.

A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in New Zealand

I had eleven years of Catholic education, in schools run by the Sisters of Mercy, before I apostatised in my mid-teens. Reading the report, it shows quite clearly that people like me barely had a chance to stay as practising Catholics. I remember quite clearly RE in fifth form consisting of drawing pictures of various Bible scenes. No one took the subject seriously.

No wonder there are people like confused socialist Catholic here, and no wonder Moonbats like Joan Chittister are being invited to speak here. Forget about an inquiry, I think NZ needs a full-scale Inquisition.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

ZenTiger The Nanny State Presses On

An interesting article in today's Sunday Star Times: It is time to scrap the term 'nanny state'.I suspect it is a media release direct from the 9th floor, because it has no author name attached to the opinion. At a time when the nanny state is so active, the article makes a feeble attempt to convince people to drop the term.
"The nanny state is a cliche and an obstacle to clear thought. It's time to drop it from the political lexicon."

Even as the mouthpiece for the government makes those claims, they suggest that people's habits are formed at a young age. The solution? Get the State even more involved in raising children and making laws. It's the only possible solution, and it isn't going to help matters if we bandy about terminology that insinuates their necessary help is not appreciated.

Banning pies and adding folate to bread is just the tip of the iceberg. We need to get used to more government intervention and accept it for what it is - and it is not the actions of a nanny state. Nanny says so.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

ZenTiger China Takes Gold

China is well on the way to taking gold in next years Beijing Olympics. Hard training has paid off, and China says it has not yet peaked. These guys are true champions, and I suspect USA could be fighting India for Silver.

CHINA emitted more carbon dioxide than the US for the first time last year, making it the world's biggest producer of the gas blamed for global warming.

Related Link: China tops USA to become leading CO2 emitter

ZenTiger A steady diet of state control

The State is at it again. Folic acid is now compulsory in bread. It's to save the lives of a few children, although there is a good chance some pregnant women will not eat that much bread anyway. Making a law to force pregnant women to take folic acid would of course reek of authoritarianism, whereas this move is just typical of the nanny state mentality.

Give us this day, our daily bread, and 20 government mandated additives...will it transpire folates make people stupider and more prone to voting Labour?


Related Link: Kids forced to eat more folates

ZenTiger Aboriginal Emergency

John Howard has declared a national emergency [link] in the Aboriginal Communities of the Northern Territories. Horrified at the child abuse, he has taken a series of measures including banning alcohol and pornography. Naturally, it is these two specific measures that has raised the issue, and this in turn brings out the arguments around racism, the heavy hand of state intervention and all sorts of accusations against conservatives who can be seen to be flip-flopping compared to, say the recent protest against banning smacking.

Let me just say, up front, that I do not agree with Howard's approach. I think it wrong. I'll go into that later. For now, I'd like to spend some time defending these policies in the interests of getting down to a more sensible discussion, as compared to some of the arguments being bandied about on Kiwiblog. [Update: I take that back. There are now some very good points coming out. Redbaiter's and DavidP's for example.]

The difference between a smack and child abuse
Banning smacking was a blanket rule applied to all parents across NZ "to end child abuse". The liberal left could perhaps advance that as a solution to the aboriginal child abuse problem (ban smacking across Australia), and be rightfully laughed at. See the difference?

What is going on in these communities is outright abuse. Child abuse is against the law. It should not be tolerated. Any law breakers should, theoretically face the full force of the law, be locked up in jail and the key thrown away. However, that would not really be solving the problem in this case, would it?

Banning alcohol and pornography to a specific area is effectively targeting a group that has an extremely high proportion of law breakers may actually make an impact, as opposed to a complete country wide ban. Alcohol is banned at some concerts and sporting events, for example.

As I said, I don't agree with this approach per se, but it seems to me to be based on a modicum of common sense and reality (political views aside).

Racist Policies
I agree with the people arguing this is fundamentally a racist policy. It could also be described as a "culturalist" policy. The problem we are discussing here is fundamentally an aboriginal one, and invariably, to respond to it in that way does mean it will inevitably seen as a racist.

That being said, this unfairly lumps in the percentage of aboriginal people that are doing the right thing in these communities. We are assigning guilt where there may be none. There are lawbreakers, or there are not. That should be the focus, not race. So, consider race and culture when targeting the assistance, but frame the negative actions in the context of targeting lawbreakers. Find them, then prevent them from harming others and give them the help they need to turn their life around.

State Intervention
Howard seems to be rolling over the Northern Territories Government to get action. As far as I can tell, possibly a fair move. The issue has been around for years, and the Labour State Government have completely failed. Arguably, so has Howard, and it would be easy to assume that this is all politically motivated. Maybe it is, but at least the issue is now out loudly in the public arena. About time.

Ultimately though, I believe the heavy hand of the state is not going to solve anything. A blanket ban affects people that may be innocent. It is also untested. We don't know if, as people don't fall into their usual drunken stupor, they will suddenly become more violent and the abuse increase. The last thing the Government should want is to see the problem made worse. Prohibition means moonshine, smuggling in alcohol or people simply migrating into cities. Whatever restrictions are placed on alcohol and porn need to be with a lot of social services backup.

So what's my solution? I admit I'm not as outraged by Howard's suggestions, because I agree the problem is so serious, we need to try different approaches. They just need to be comprehensive.

Seems to me that people live in this way when they have no purpose in life, and no hope. Right wing secularists and atheists provide this by improving living conditions, encouraging property ownership, a job, accepting responsibilities. The right wing Christians add a faith element to that, because faith is needed when there is little hope, when the future looks bleak, and we wonder why we should continue to struggle on in life and hold tight to the belief that every life is valuable, every life a blessing.

The liberal left have had their chance - welfare with complete freedom. Free money to get drunk, abuse their children and wallow in depression.

John Howard needs to get together with people like Cardinal Pell and say "You guys have always done a great job and going out and giving people hope. What can we do to help? What resources do you need?" Bringing faith, jobs, property ownership, teaching the importance of family values, better education and learning the character building traits of restraint, self-control, avoidance of temptation, and love for others is the only way to solve this problem - in short - giving the aboriginal people the best of our Western Christian Heritage. Not the welfare driven, liberal freedom without any grounding in duty and responsibility socialist approach of the past. And I don't think that means they need to abandon their rich culture. It's still there waiting for them when they finally put down the bottle.

I don't think banning porn and booze is going to help, but I'd like to be convinced it could actually help. Whatever comes from this conversation, we all need to agree that the status quo cannot continue.

Comments anyone?

Related Link: No Porn and Booze on the other side of the rabbit wire fence

Related Link: Kiwiblog - Black and White Issue

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

Fancy some conversation tonight?

What else would you do on the shortest day of the year?

I mean, really?

Lucia Spiritual warfare

Some Friday morning reading for those of you who are sick of the insane politics around us.
When mortals know they're at war, a kind of Emergency Consciousness arises in them. This can be turned to our advantage, by creating anxiety, but it's a very unstable compound because it can also foster self-sacrifice for a higher cause. When they know they're at war, they live with passion and alertness. They don't greedily demand comfort. There are no yuppies on a battlefield.
Related Link: On Spiritual Warfare Taking his cue from the new literary genre invented by C. S. Lewis in Screwtape Letters, Peter Kreeft has gathered together fifteen spicy letters from Satan's agents below that allow the reader to spy into Hell's inter-office communication...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ZenTiger Green Logic

The Greens move to ban meat pies in schools because 16 year olds cannot be trusted to make rational decisions about what they eat for lunch.

The Greens move to let 16 year olds vote. Because they can be trusted to make rational decisions?

Nice one Sue. (Thanks for that thought, Gerrit.)

ZenTiger How to rite proper

Many people seem to dash off a quick post, and fail to check for misteaks. Its' really annoying to some pepul, so's I thought I'd point out common errors in an effort to raise the standards:

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat)
6. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7. Be more or less specific.
8. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually) unnecessary.
9. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
10. No sentence fragments.
11. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.
12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's
highly superfluous.
14. One should NEVER generalize.
15. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
16. Don't use no double negatives.
17. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20. The passive voice is to be ignored.
21. Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words
however should be enclosed in commas.
22. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
23. Kill all exclamation points!!!
24. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
25. Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth
shaking ideas.
26. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not
needed.
27. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate
quotations. Tell me what you know."
28. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist
hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.
29. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
30. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
31. Even IF a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
32. Who needs rhetorical questions?
33. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
34. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. And finally...
35. Always check your spelling. In the your title too.


Given Sir Humphrey's is still down, I might transfer a few posts over, such as this one. I doubt any-one will notice that I'm plagiarizing my own posts (or in this case some-one else's). I did one on blogging too, come to think of it, buried under ancient archival disks most likely. Summon the feather duster!

Lucia Greens want the voting age lowered to 16

The Greens are at it again. Whatever happened to the environment? Instead they seem to be focusing on social policy.

Now they want to lower the voting age in NZ to 16 and introduce compulsory civics education in high-school, " to make young people understand how the political system works". That could be covered in one line. You vote for people to represent you in parliament and once they are voted in they completely ignore your wishes and represent themselves instead. Simple.

Next, compulsory wheat-grass juicing training ...

Related Link: Proposal to lower voting age to 16

Lucia Inflicting religion on children is child abuse

Here we go. A secular humanist group has put forward a paper to a United Nations NGO detailing exactly how teaching religion to children is being abusive and violating their rights. If the NGO do decide that teaching children religion is abusive, look for a push to amend the UN Convention on Child to include religion as child abuse and remember many countries, such as NZ, are signatories.

Game on.
NEW YORK, June 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Religious education is a form of child abuse and violates the rights of children, contends a thesis to be considered by secular humanists at the Center for Inquiry's congress in Beijing this October.

The Center for Inquiry, an organisation recently awarded special consultative status as an NGO at the United Nations (UN) will consider the proposals of Innaiah Narisetti, the chairman of the Center for Inquiry's India chapter, that portend the next stage in the assault on the rights of parents to educate their children.

Nasiretti called the influence of religion a "severe shortcoming in the global campaign to protect children" and a contributor to child abuse saying, "In one form or another, all religions violate the rights of children."

"Such abuse begins with the involuntary involvement of children in religious practices from the time they are born," says Narisetti. "All religions, through ritual, preaching, and religious texts, seek to bring children into day-to-day religious practice."

"This gives holy books and scriptures, as well as those who teach them, an early grip on the developing minds of young people, leaving an indelible impression on them," said Narisetti, calling Sunday schools, madrassas, or Jewish or Hindu temples, centers of indoctrination for children.

Nasiretti's proposal would reject the long-recognized inherent rights of parents to educate and provide for their children's religious instruction in favor of regulating children's exposure to religious influence by world governments abiding by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The time has come to debate the participation of children in religious institutions," continues Narisetti. "While some might see it as a matter better left to parents, the negative influence of religion and its subsequent contribution to child abuse from religious beliefs and practices requires us to ask whether organized religion is an institution that needs limits set on how early it should have access to children."

The UN forum proposed by Narisetti would debate the "pros and cons" of religion on children and determine whether religion contributes to global child abuse.

"The UN must then take a clear stand on the issue of the forced involvement of children in religious practices; it must speak up for the rights of children and not the automatic right of parents and societies to pass on religious beliefs, and it must reexamine whether an organization like the Vatican should belong to the UN," stated Narisetti.

"Until this happens, millions of children worldwide will continue to be abused in the name of religion, and the efforts made by the UN will continue to address the symptoms but not the disease."
Related Link: Religious Education by Parents is "Child Abuse": Center for Inquiry Proposal

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lucia The Greens vs the Catholics in Oz

For those that don't read ZenTiger's satire pieces, it may have escaped your attention that he's just blogged on a very serious piece of news from Australia.

Recently, Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell said that there would be consequences for Catholic politicians voting for stem cell research. The Greens have taken this to mean that the Archbishop is interfering in the political process, so have launched an investigation into whether on not his comments were a contempt of parliament. If found guilty, it could result in the head of the Catholic Church in Australia being imprisoned for up to 25 years.

If it got that far, it would not be a good look for Australia, given that Pope is visiting next year for World Youth Day being held in Sydney and being organised by the Archbishop's archdiocese.

Personally, I think that the idea that a person's religion might actually have a bearing on how they vote is a scary, scary proposition for people like the Greens. Religious views on the environment and the world ending are fine, but religious views on the sanctity of life? Especially when there are Greens in the world that are putting forth proposals that couples ought to limited to two children only? No, that sort of opinion must be quashed. And quashed good.

Related Link: Cardinal Pell defends stem cell warning

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ZenTiger Greens Reveal Heinous New Crime

The Australian Greens have declared any-one who liked the former Pope, John Paul II to have suspect moral judgment. Yes, you simply cannot trust a person that praises a Pope. Indeed, they want Labor MP Greg Donnelly removed from the Privileges committee because his morals might get in the way of their proposed lynching.

I am concerned about the presence on the Privileges Committee of ... Christian Right Labor MP Greg Donnelly, who made tribute during his inaugural speech to "an extraordinary person, Pope John Paul II"

They really are wasting their oxygen.

Related Link: Proof cannabis use destroys brain cells

ZenTiger Grud on a Greenie

I overhead someone on the train talking to his friend the other day:

"You don't give a shit about the environment, do you?"

"Nah" he replied rather succinctly.

"And you don't believe in Global Warming or Peak Oil. You want to build more roads, and think the RMA should be abolished. You support farmers and actually encourage them to expand their beef production for export. You want to abolish all petrol taxes. You drive a car everywhere rather than walk. You are not averse to Nuclear power. You said the country needs more hydro and coal power stations."

"Yeah, and what's more I believe the earth's resources are inexhaustible and that all this Greenie stuff is total hype and they are out of their tree."

"So, why are you a member of the Green Party then?"

"I like stirring them up at meetings."

"Do you realise there are consequences to your belief that the world is an inexhaustible resource to be abused. Don't they tell you there are consequences to your belief system?"

"They better not, or I'll slap them with an order from the privileges committee and they'll be thrown in jail for 25 years."

"Are you a f*cking lunatic? As if you could jail the Greens for 25 years just because they think the consequences of your actions are destructive."

Yes, the Greens are f*cking lunatics

Lucia Lets indoctrinate the children!

Yesterday I read there was some sort of poll given in NZ where 66% of respondents wanted school children taught about all religions. And not only that, but those same people want this to be compulsory!

I'm just staggered at the number of people that want this compulsory. What is it with NZ and this strong desire not just to have a good idea (learn about all religions) but then to take it into the realm of compulsion?

Do people wake in the the morning here and think, I'm going to have a piece of toast for breakfast. What a good idea. Hmmm, it ought to be made compulsory for everyone to have toast in the morning.

Sheesh.

Personally, I don't want my children having to learn about all religions. Learning about all religions can create the impression that being religious is just a matter of opinion. Or, it could present the idea that the teacher's religion is the right one and all the others are just a matter of opinion. Do all these compulsion people even think that far?

Monday, June 18, 2007

ZenTiger Shock Troops in the Culture Wars

There's me slinging that word culture about again. But the title isn't mine. The author in my link has noted that big familes are under fire.

Mums and Dads to families of many children are suffering slings and arrows over their lack of "family planning". Was Hamlet really considering contraception when he uttered "To be, or not to be"? Was Romeo only in trouble because Juliet was? The quality of mercy is rather strained when some people discuss large families. China and the Greens explain it as minimising the carbon footprint. Others declare "how selfish". Rather than bore you with a soliloquy, I'll let Patrick Meagher detail his experience of daring to exceed the 2.1 limit.

Can I mention "the end of civilisation as we know it" now? Technically, with family sizes averaging below replacement rates, I might just get away with it.

Shock Troops in the Culture Wars

Fletch Safari Browser for Windows - First Look



As Zen posted about here, Apple is releasing a version of their Safari browser in a Windows flavor. It got off to a bit of a rocky start, with a hacker - Thor Larholm - finding serious security flaws just two hours after the Beta 3 release for Windows. Because of this I wasn't going to download the browser, but Apple have fixed three of the more serious problems; thus, I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I downloaded and installed Safari, no problem. If you've ever used Apples iTunes program, then you'll be familiar with the look of the browser - grey. Anyway, as this is just a first look, I would ask that any users of Safari (Apple users I suppose) correct me if I make any mistakes.
Below are the pros and cons I found while using it -

Pros

  • The rendering of text in the browser is very nice. Fonts look very smooth and easy to read.
  • The resizing of text boxes. This means if you're typing in a text blog - posting a comment on a blog - you can actually grab the lower right-hand corner of the text box and make it as big as you like. Handy for tbr.cc which has quite a small area in which to add comments ;)
Cons

  • Clicking in the address bar doesn't select the address already in there. This is REALLY annoying - you either have to swipe the cursor across the address in order to select it and delete it, or press alt/d to select it.
  • Windows key/M doesn't minimize the browser as it does every other Windows program.
  • I was a little disappointed that one of the features Safari users brag about, the ability to email an entire webpage, is not working in the Windows version. This works in Internet Explorer or in Firefox (you have to have the Amazing Webpage Emailer plugin).
  • Lack of plugins ala Firefox; Firefox has a plethora of pinatas plugins available from their homepage that users have written and some of which (such as mouse gestures) I can't live without. Safari doesn't yet have plugins like this beyond the Quicktime and Flash viewers and such - not that I could find (Apple users feel free to correct me).
Apple has a little graph on their Safari site which purports to show how blazingly fast the browser is. I tried several browsers seeing how fast it took to load the content-heavy site download.com and there was very little difference between them. So, for now, I'm not that impressed.

Hopefully it will get better though.

ps, you would have had to have seen 'The Three Amigos' movie to get the 'pinatas' bit :)

Lucia Slamming the door in God's Face

What would you say of a person who feels it is their right to eat as much food and they want, and after having eaten it, since it is more than their stomach can bear, the person adjourns to the nearest loo and promptly throws up. And then goes back to eat some more?

When told that this is a waste of food, that they ought to eat only as much as is needed and no more, that throwing up good food is doing what is unnatural and unhealthy, they reply that they have a right to enjoy food without worrying about gaining weight. Surely everyone has such a right, they say, because as well all know, to gain weight is to risk general ill health and to decrease one's life span. It is far better to eat as much as one desires and then chuck up. Surely?

I doubt many people reading here today see the “right” of eating and chucking for the pure pleasure of food as anything less than sheer gluttony and lack of self-control. I’m sure many also will eat that cream donut at morning tea time, knowing full well what the consequences may be and quite accepting of them. After all, if you want to be regularly eating donuts, be prepared for waistline expansion.

However, when it comes to the pleasure of sex, it all becomes a different matter. We demand the right to have sex without consequences. For that reason contraception is very necessary, because without it, there would most definitely be consequences and we can’t have that. And let’s take it one step further, in a world where contraception is necessary, so is abortion. Because if contraception does not prevent the conception of a child, then abortion needs to step in and clean up. Abortion and contraception go hand in hand.

Our appetites for sex are so huge that many cannot fathom being without the right to engage. Why wait for a day when the woman is not ovulating (a couple of days a month), when with a condom sex can be had without restraint. One would think that sexual self-control is not a virtue to be aspired to. But, what does it matter, really? In a culture with falling birth rates and loss of respect for human life.

Consider the following consequences warned of by POPE PAUL VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae, released in 1968 during the pill revolution.
Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Many of the consequences of what Pope Paul warned of have come to pass. There has been a major lowering of morality over that last several decades since the 1960s. To the point now where in NZ, the largest number of 11-14 ever have had abortions. Eleven to fourteen year old girls should not even be having sex, let alone having abortions. Hello!

I remember a conversation at Sir Humphreys a while back where a number of men admitted (not even grudgingly) that they “tried out” potential partners before committing to the “best one”. What was that about care and reverence for one’s wife that the Pope was talking about, rather just a sex toy that happens to do your laundry as well? And what about the explosion of porn, something mostly consumed by men?

The Catholic position on sex and contraception has been said to be best typified by the Every sperm is sacred song in The Meaning of Life by Monty Python. Please remember, this song is a joke – it mocks the Catholic sanctity for life, and reduces it to sacredness of sperm only. Certainly sperm is necessary for the creation of a new human life, yet so is an egg, and so is the creation of a soul. By itself, sperm is only sperm. It has no meaning except for what happens to it when it fuses with an egg.

The way sex is supposed to work is that each person, man and woman, gives themselves to the other in love. The act of sex itself is a renewal of marriage vows and allows for the creation of a new human life which means that God is involved. Using contraception slams the door in God’s face, it tells Him He is not wanted this time around.

It has been argued that contraception is needed so as to not create more children than the couple can feed. Except, there has always been a sure-fire way to prevent pregnancy that does not involve contraception. That sure-fire way requires self-control, restraint and respect for the other person. That way is abstaining from sex. Just like with eating where a person needs to exercise self-control so as to not become hugely over-weight, so with sex couples are expected to abstain when having more children would be an undue burden. After all sex is pleasurable, but it’s purpose is not to provide pleasure, just like eating’s purpose is not to provide pleasure – but the pleasurable aspect of eating sure does encourage us to do it to stay alive.

I wonder if someone will ever come up with a type of mouth condom, so you can eat all you want and then put the condom out and start again. Too far fetched?

Related Links:

This post was inspired by this conversation at TBR
Contraception – why not? : Why does the Catholic Church keep insisting, in the face of the opposite position held by most of the rest of the modern world, that contraception is one of the worst inventions of our time? Thirty years ago the case in favor of contraception seemed eminently reasonable. But the widespread use of contraception has had so many devastating effects on marriage, the family, and society as a whole, that the Pope's predictions about it make him now look, it retrospect, like a modern day prophet...

A culture of inverted sexuality:The massive social and psychological disorder we see all around us is not the making of the "gay community." Our current problems — including even the gay-rights" movement itself — arose as a result of disorders that first became prevalent among heterosexuals...

A rubber ideology : I call it “condomism.” This is the belief that all problems surrounding sexual activity could be solved with enough contraception...

Fletch Intolerance to sexual oreintation in US High Schools

In the United States at the moment, interesting things are afoot. A certain group has distributed flyers to high schools urging tolerance for the sexual orientation of their community. At one high school, Winston Churchill High School, a group within the school was allowed to place trash cans in the school halls to encourage students to dump these flyers with the Principal standing by to make sure this dumping of flyers wasn't disturbed.

Who was this group distributing flyers and why are they so hated? (and even compared to the Ku Klux Klan by one teacher). Are they homosexuals trying to push their agenda? No...

The group is PFOX - Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.

It seems that it's fine for gays to push for tolerance of people's orientation as long as it's their own orientation; however, when it comes to ex-gays they don't know the meaning of the word 'tolerance'. It seems ex-gays are the object of much discrimination by these cheerleaders of freedom of sexual orientation. Perhaps they are afraid their own gayness won't "stick"? Or that it's not as innate as they think it is. Can you say "hypocrite"?

Speaking of which - the same article mentions that Montgomery County School Board has OK'd a new sex education curriculum for public schools (maybe breaking state and federal laws) that states that being homosexual is "innate", even though there are no studies to support such a claim -

“According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological cause for homosexuality. But now the Montgomery County Board of Education has done what science and medicine could not do by declaring in its newly approved curriculum that homosexuality is “innate” or inborn. The board could not produce any factual evidence for what it will now teach students -- only political “pledges” and payoffs for last year’s school board elections as claimed by gay rights activists.
MORE

Sunday, June 17, 2007

ZenTiger KiwiSaver in 10 years

Dusting off my crystal ball, I see KiwiSaver changing over the next few years. Firstly, a reasonable percentage of people will flock to join KiwiSaver, and some companies will be quick to include it as part of a total wage package.

National Super entitlements will be reduced for all the people drawing from KiwiSaver. Once people realise that the more you save for your retirement, the less National Super you will get, the government will move to make KiwiSaver compulsory.

Then the issue with super will be "Is 4% enough?" It wont be, of course, so the 8% will eventually become the starting point for new entrants and a new target of 12% of income (or higher) will be the compulsory amount we need to pay to manage our old age.

The remaining question will be what to do with the growing underclass that will avoid work because high taxes, compulsory superannuation and the high cost of transport getting to and from work will be a big disincentive to low paid workers, so why work? My prediction is that KiwiSaver contributions will one day attract a 2% per annum "management fee" which will be funneled to pay for the long term unemployed and sickness beneficiaries that were unable to contribute to their pension account.

For those in jobs, The shortfall for everyday living will be met by living off the credit card. With the current interest rate hikes, we are seeing people trapped paying 21% credit card rates. Maybe they can apply for hardship and draw on KiwiSaver funds? (See link below)

And KiwiBlog mentions [here] the gains students could make maxing out interest free loans to sink into KiwiSaver. Government sponsored double dipping. It's the kiwi way.

A Super Scheme is a good thing, but I think further thought needs to be put into the long term plan and translate this into a high level of certainty for current investors.

Meanwhile, time to roll all existing lines of credit into the mortgage and tighten the belt.

Bollard, did you ever stop to wonder why the people are not following your advice?

Related Links: Aussies think 6% interest rate too high and KiwiSaver too good to miss

[Minor update 5:40pm]

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ZenTiger Culture Quota Club

This blog was created about 4 months ago. The Percipient Internet Society of Standards Authorizing Nobility, Taste and Sophistication (also known as PISSANTS) have dropped a line that I have failed to demonstrate a suitable appreciation for culture. It is alleged (in polite circles) that I may have also suggested the end of civilisation as we know it is upon us. Obviously, if I were to make such a bold assertion, one would think I could prove that I understand just what cultural bits of said civilisation I was worried about losing.

However, I did get marks for mentioning Groove Armada in one of my posts, so one could presume if said PISSANTS had visited my original blog at Swoboda or my other blog at Sir Humphrey's, (both sadly off-line at this time) that references to Pink Floyd and Chee Chee may have counted towards my quota.

Meanwhile (for all I know) on another blog somewhere on the internet, I am being chastised for not delving into the details of my sex life because I may have commented on the unhealthy nature of anal sex once. Undoubtedly, another paragon of erudite savoir-faire has strongly condemned me for failure to praise Noam Chomsky in even one post. And I wonder if yet another blog dedicated to maintaining high internet standards is befuddled as to why I haven't written at least four posts on watching paint dry?

Of course, culture is quite a broad word. Technically, if any of my posts discuss the way people live in accordance with a framework of beliefs, language or history I am speaking of culture. More specifically, whenever I discuss a threat to our value system, and speak of behaviours that change our social norms and destroy societal values, I am speaking of culture. When I defend the institution of the traditional family, I am speaking of culture.

But obviously, that's not the culture that would demonstrate the required cultivation.

Until then, at beast, oops, best, I may be categorised as a noble savage. But how to indicate that I am worthy of joining the elite? Irrespective of my educational and social upbringing, such is the power of our civilisation, founded on principles espoused by the ancient Greeks, that I have had the potential to throw off my class shackles and rise above my inherited station in life and nurture the "elite" gene that only a select few are born with. Only then, can I back up my opinions with subtle references to aspects of "high-culture" that would place me in the avant-garde of New Zealand's political commentators.

Pop-Culture of course, is an oxymoron. "She'll be right mate" and "kiwi ingenuity" might bring a particular flavour to the New Zealand identity, but without an Iwi to fall back upon, I better drop a couple of cultural references into the mix to explain just why multi-culturalism could mean there is no room on the library shelf for Charles Dickens.

But really, is it safe to mention Dickens on this post? The PISSANTS may give me marks for raising awareness of a great and popular author that managed to write some biting social commentary in his time (thus endearing me to the leftists) and he did travel to America and fight for the abolition of slavery (thus endearing me to the liberals) but I run the danger of reminding them that Dickens went around the Twist abusing snobs. That might be hitting below the belt.

Ah well, it's just as well my motivations for blogging don't involve meeting some fanciful preconceptions of achieving a particular standard in order to have an opinion.

But this does remind me of a poem by a friend of Dickens, and here's a passage from it to ensure I meet the week's quota:
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Come to think of it - if anyone wants proof that I am cultured, surely, the fact that I link to NotPC (and include the blog in my regular reads) is proof enough? The standards can't be any higher, can they?

Lucia I think I might get me some culture

Put the milk on the sill and wait for it to curdle.

Oh, no, wait ... I don't think they mean that type of culture! (see FundyPost, and now Not PC hopping on the bandwagon).
As Paul at 'The Fundy Post' points out, "These conservative chaps and chapesses, the ones who blog about the clash of civilisations and all that stuff, talk a lot about culture but they never show any evidence that they have any of it." A fair point, methinks.
Oh, for goodness sakes! We blog. We choose what we reveal about ourselves. There is a great deal about my every day life that I do not talk about online.

Our readers don't come here to hear about my latest designer top that I've sewed or the gourmet dish I served up for dinner the night before or the books on various topics that I'm reading about or the play I went to last week. They can go elsewhere for that.

It's all very well to put up a you-tube clip to show that you appreciate culture - but can you sing or dance or act or draw? Bing, bing, bing, bing .. all four down in this corner.

Sheesh.

Go bother some other cardboard cut-out one-dimensional imaginary person that you've dreamt up.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Lucia Haunting

How many ghosts are there in the past that we are just blithely unaware of?

I was just re-reading some of Hilaire Belloc's Survivals and New Arrivals today, and then I came across an article on the 1,400 year war. Belloc said "The whole story of Europe looks quite different when you see it from the point of view of the average cultivated Frenchman or Italian from what it does in the eyes of the average educated English or American Catholic." And then, reading the article I quote below on the 1,400 year war, it seems the point of view of the Hungarian is one that cannot be fathomed by those of us living in an Anglo-Saxon Culture.
Having made the mistake of settling in a bad geopolitical neighbourhood, the Magyars would come to see themselves as defenders of the West, to which they did not belong, against the East, to which they did. This resulted in Hungarians having a love-hate relationship with both the East and the West for the next thousand years. “East” meant Mongolian and Tartar marauders at first, but the expansion of the Ottoman Empire during the 15th century gradually changed its meaning to include Islam. The crescent moon became a symbol of menace, as the Muslim world made up for the ground it lost in southwestern Europe by its conquests in the southeast. By victories such as Kosovo, the Prophet’s armies gained in the Balkans what they forfeited in Spain. Eventually their success saw them sweep across the great plains of Hungary and Transdanubia, their high tide reaching the walls of Vienna on two occasions, the last time in 1683.

The Magyars resisted Islam’s advance for nearly a century, but eventually they succumbed at Mohács Field in 1526. After that debacle, Hungary’s 150 years of bondage began. Ottoman rule was not unmitigated evil—for instance, horticulture and architecture flourished under it—but it was still a nightmare of caprice and corruption. The Sultan’s soldiers were fatalistic in combat and merciless in victory. The Porta—the Turkish court—combined dizzying hauteur with abject servility. It also combined, along with its entire culture, Oriental cruelty with Muslim self-righteousness. Most measures were considered justified against the giaours (infidels). The trauma of imperial Islam lingers in the lower Danube basin to this day.
We are especially sheltered because of the period in history that we were born.
I am offering this potted history of the region because my reader is likely to be the product of what I have called “the 60-year gap.” Assuming that he or she was born after 1918 (the year General Allenby rode through the gates of Damascus) but before 1979 (when the Ayatollah Khomeini deposed the Shah of Iran and the mujahedeen began resisting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan), my reader belongs to the only about three generations in 1,400 years during which the struggle between the Islamic and non-Islamic world was on standby. This 60-year gap between the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the resurgence of militant Islam was one of the few periods in which people, as long as they lived in certain sheltered parts of the world, such as Western Europe and North America, could be blissfully unaware that theirs was at war with another.
Belloc also writes of this generation gap. A period of time in which no living person can remember Islam and just how strong it and the civilisation it represented was. Oh, how the ghosts of the past must be raging against what they see as our blindness in this area!

Related Link: The 1,400 year war

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

I hope everyone's getting to use their firewood tonight - it's freezing! Though, we are starting to get cosy over here now that I've turned the fire up and closed all the doors to the rooms we aren't using until later.

So, it's chat time - if anyone's around.

The other Friday regular is Not PC's Beer O'Clock.

Lucia To the square root or death!

There's an interesting wrangle going on in the EU at the moment. The voting system of the countries in the EU is set to change, except for one minor problem - Poland is threatening to veto it.
Under the proposed new “double majority” voting system for the Council of Ministers – the EU’s main lawmaking body – each country is awarded votes directly related to the size of its population.

Poland has 27 votes in the Council, compared with 29 for Germany. Under the new voting system, Germany’s share of the vote would sharply increase, since its 82m population is twice that of its eastern neighbour.

Warsaw has vowed to fight for “the square root or death”, a reference to its favoured voting formula – based on the square root of a country’s population – which would flatten the difference in power between countries. Berlin has rejected it outright.
Related Link: Warsaw digs in over new EU treaty

ZenTiger Banning the meat pie

When you prevent one fat kid from buying a pie, it's discrimination. If you ban them from every-one, it's suddenly a noble cause, for noble reasons. How stupid is that?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

ZenTiger Power Contractor thrown off the premises

The New Zealand Meter Man was thrown from the premises yesterday after repeated attempts to get at the power box and disconnect supply. Winston Peters, a spokesman for the company was quick to condemn the property owner for non-payment of electoral expenses. "We were just doing our job of cutting supply, and it turns out the property owner wasn't as ill and incapacitated as we thought. We were hoping with high electoral prices, he'd be forced to sell and move out and we could use the place as a state owned house and rent it to the Mongrel Mob. But now our meter man's been turfed off the property, we'll have to see if we can cut supply from the substation." said Mr Peters, confident that his company is not bound by any particular code of conduct when considering further action.

It was rumoured that the owner of the property had recently moved in after forcibly evicting the previous tenant for non-payment of rent, in spite of a sound tenancy agreement.

Related Link: Meter Man thrown from the premises after attempting to disconnect supply

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ZenTiger Apple changes its spots

Apple are about to release Leopard, their new operating system that boasts "a new organisational system for the desktop called Stacks and a new folder system which lets users browse files and applications visually" -- I'm not sure just how innovative that actually is, maybe its all in the execution? A bit like their new "Quick Look" tool which Mr Jobs is pretty excited about. On paper, it's a preview tool. That's not so groundbreaking. Still, some say its all about eye candy. We'll see.

Also of interest is that Apple have released an XP version of Safari. Now we Firefox users have another choice. I'll keep an eye on our visitor stats and see how Safari fares in the blogosphere jungle.

Apple is obviously hoping it can get all of us to change our spots. iPhone anyone?

Related Link: Apple on XP Safari

ZenTiger Monkey Business

US researchers have for the first time injected human stem cells into monkeys with Parkinson's symptoms, seen as a key step in the fight to find a cure.

Whilst we all hope for a cure is found for these monkeys, I'm wondering if human stem cells is the way to go? Why not monkey stem cells? And even if we save the monkeys, what about their natural habitat? We might need stem, branch and trunk cells injected into vast areas pretty soon. But I digress. This is really just a link to Mr Tips' previous post: Scrambled Eggs

Related Link: Cells stem from life

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

ZenTiger Bollard takes a gamble

Dr Bollard's interest rate hikes haven't worked. What to do? Suddenly, after thinking he only had one tool at his disposal, he remembers that he can also pretend to be a currency speculator. So he drops $300 million from his $3.5 billion kitty.

He's only got a pair of fours, but a great poker face. You gotta ask yourself. Do ya think he's feeling lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

Monday, June 11, 2007

ZenTiger Wireless Power


Wireless power is something that resonates with me. Those pesky cables disturb the Feng Shui of my desk area. So what drives people to invent useful stuff like wireless electricity (or WiTricity)? Some might say necessity:
Professor Soljacic’s inspiration for WiTricity grew out of his frustration at having to find a plug to charge his mobile phone. “It was probably the sixth time that month that I was awakened by my cell phone beeping to let me know that I had forgotten to charge it. It occurred to me that it would be so great if the thing took care of its own charging.”
Sounds like good old fashioned laziness to me. But if it sorts my desk out, I'm not knocking it. Actually, having my phone stop beeping in the middle of the night would be cool too.

Related Link: Click here to read about the breakthrough, or perhaps instead figure out a way of doing it without clicking, and let me know

Lucia Blog Link back again

I recently put up a link to Pontifications which then promptly disappeared, much to my disappointment. But, having done number of google searches over the last month to see if it came back again at a different site, I found I was rewarded for my perseverance today, as it is indeed back at a different site address.

The old site will apparently come back eventually and a new one for Pontifications is up. So, if you were curious, it is worth a visit.

ZenTiger Bollard Baffled

Despite the Bollard and the Reserve Bank's best efforts to cool the property market, house values are still rising.

"There's something going on here that I just don't understand" said Bollard, as he hinted interest rates of 20% might sort the problem. "I have no idea really, but like an elevator, there are only two directions I can go with this. I have a hunch that going up is a step in the right direction."

Related Link: Bollard Baffled by Buoyant Buying of Buildings

Sunday, June 10, 2007

ZenTiger Attacked by two maniacs

Greg Carvell was attacked by two maniacs. The first came at him with a machete and a clear intent to do GBH (grievous bodily harm) and the second tried to take his money and basic freedoms.

Ultimately, he was grudgingly allowed to defend himself against a maniac. It is unfortunate he found it as difficult to defend himself from the state.

The system is still broken.

NotPC - Great News.
TV NZ - Charges dropped against Greg Carvell
TBR - Leave the poor guy alone

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lucia Muslims unhappy with Catholics in Oz

It seems it's just not fair!
Nelson [Education Minister] is also quiet about Cardinal Pell's insistence that Catholic schools commit to a vow of fidelity by adhering to church teaching on homosexuality, birth control and women's ordination. So failure to adhere to Australian values, like equality for women and homosexuals, are suddenly not worth Nelson's successor, Julie Bishop, insisting on threat of financial excommunication.
Still, I have no objection to Catholics, Muslims or the Brethren running schools for their own flock. I do object to the double standards alleged conservatives apply to different religious groups.

It is interesting to see a national broadsheet publishing editorials defending Pell's recent comments threatening adverse religious communal consequences for NSW Catholic MPs voting in favour of embryonic stem cell research. Pell is defended for doing his job to explain and uphold Catholic principles, to remind Australian Catholics of the rules that apply to their lives, if lived as Catholics.

Sheik Al-Din Hilali and his defenders used virtually the same excuses to justify his recent attempts to develop new advertising slogans for the cat food industry. He said he was only speaking to Muslims, using a turn of phrase to advise them of the importance of modest clothing. Similarly, his comments about Australia's convict heritage were made on Egyptian TV for a Middle Eastern Arabic-speaking audience. Further, Hilali wasn't telling Muslims how to vote on a certain issue. Nor was he threatening Muslims who disagreed with him with possible religious communal consequences.

Sheik Hilali no doubt finds his argument compelling. He accused politicians and media of applying double standards. Now, in the response of allegedly conservative political leaders and media outlets to Pell's outburst, Hilali has reason to feel vindicated.
I think the above writer is referring to the Hilali's unfortunate comment comparing under-dressed women to uncovered meat, saying something to the effect of, who could blame a man for attacking a woman who to him looked like uncovered meat. If the man, or men in the rape case below, were cats, no one would blame them. Calling Hilali's comments, "new advertising slogans for the cat food industry" is an attempt to make his comments less outrageous than they were.
THE nation's most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don't wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned "meat" that attracts voracious animals.

In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who "sway suggestively" and wore make-up and immodest dress ... "and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years".

"But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he asked.

The leader of the 2000 rapes in Sydney's southwest, Bilal Skaf, a Muslim, was initially sentenced to 55 years' jail, but later had the sentence reduced on appeal.

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

He said women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men.

"It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa)."
So, it's just not fair. Archbishop Cardinal Pell gets a free pass to demand Catholic educators swear an oath to the Catholic faith, but when a Muslim cleric compares under-dressed women to uncovered meat, the media go ballistic!

Um, yeah.

A couple of things. First a vow of fidelity to Catholic Church teachings does not equate to a lack of equality for women and homosexuals. Saying that women cannot be priests does not in any way mean that women are not equal to men - it's just saying that women cannot be priests, just like men cannot give birth to babies. Both are physical impossibilities. But saying men cannot give birth to babies does not imply in any way whatsoever that men are not equal to women.

As with homosexuals. Saying that that homosexual acts are sinful does not imply that the person is unequal. Just like the murderer or adulterer or rapist or thief or person living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage can ask for and receive absolution, so can the homosexual. Australian society considers sexual relationships outside of marriage to be fine and dandy, just like homosexuality, yet their society still allows for Catholics to consider both to be sinful.

However, blaming women for vicious rapes just because the woman is under-dressed; in other words not swathed in such a way as to depersonalise her, is guaranteed to receive negative media and public attention. Australian society is used to the expectation that men exercise self-control with regards to women - no matter how they are dressed.

If Australia was a Muslim country, where everyone knew that men cannot control themselves when they see a flash of feminine skin, then that would be another matter. But what the writer is really complaining about is the inherent Australian culture, which sees nothing wrong with what Catholics are currently doing, and is also deeply disturbed by the Muslim position that says to women that they are "weapons used by Satan".

Though, the media reaction to Archbishop Cardinal Pell was hardly a free-pass.

Related Links:
When the cardinal rule doesn't apply to all by Irfan Yusuf
Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks

Friday, June 8, 2007

Lucia Friday Night Free For All

I'm not sure what has happened to Murray, so Friday chat time is on here tonight.

ZenTiger Police Alert

NZ Police have issued an alert to all citizens to be on the look-out for a suspect they say is armed and extremely dangerous. Already Police have responded to dozens of reports of assault since late yesterday, all believed to be the work of one man.

"It's pretty serious, and we'd advise all people to keep a careful look-out, especially in downtown Wellington. The last reported sighting was on the corner of The Terrace and Bowen Street, but strangely, reports have come in from several areas." said Inspector Oberac, from Wellington Central Police Station.

"I've interviewed several victims and it hasn't been pretty. Some were simply kicked in the guts, but a few have had their balls severely bruised. The perp apparently had them by the short and curlies, then put the boot in", added Inspector Oberac.

There seems to be no connection between the victims, although they all have mortgages or are involved in exporting goods from New Zealand.

The inspector urged witnesses to come forward with any information that might shed a clue as to his identity.

"If we don't catch him now, there is no question he will offend again" [Police Report]

Thursday, June 7, 2007

ZenTiger Kiwi Battlers attacked by Bollard

Dr Bollard has again raised interest rates. For some reason, he has decided all good Kiwis with mortgages should be sending as much money as possible to overseas Banks. By reducing our disposable income by giving it half of it to the bank in the form of interest and half of it to the government in the form of tax, we save the economy.

Cullen's sitting on a surplus, the Banks are creaming it on mortgages and there's not enough money left over to pay the electricity bill, let alone fill the pot with instant noodles for dinner.

Related Link: Kiwi Battlers attacked by the Reserve Bank

ZenTiger Power and Gas

When it's one of Helen Clark's ministers - Benson-Pope, Dover Samuels, Taito Phillip-Field, David Parker etc - she is quick to say "wait until the investigation is over" and "every-one is presumed innocent until proven otherwise".

But when it is any other person or group she can gain political mileage from, she is very quick to leap in with the judgments. As is the case with Electra cutting power to the Muliaga household on the day of the death of Folole Muliaga. Electra do have a case to answer for their part in this, but it is beyond inappropriate for Helen Clark to be leading the witch hunt.

The one pledge Helen Clark will never make is to refrain from hypocrisy.

[Thanks to Ted3001 for raising this excellent point]

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

ZenTiger The crime is life

There's no pleasing some people. Working from home creates too big a carbon footprint, so lets all do the commute and sit in a cubicle chained to a desk to do our bit for the environment announces new research. [Read: Stunning new research to match IPCC quality]

This just seems to fit the world view from those people that winge about everything and anything. Pathetic really. No real consideration of all the other factors that make the entire article speculative. I suspect the actual research is just as shoddy.

Did they assess car usage in getting to work, for example?

Modern office planning is actually catering for reduced head counts due to rotating staff (on road, at meetings, working at a client site and working from home) which allows canny organisations to reduce overall floorspace, share meeting rooms rather than everyone having a big office) and using less electrical resource (laptops with built in power saving modes, that are de-plugged and taken off-site with the employee. In a sense, people working from home help such organisations plan for more efficent use of office space, which in turn reduces energy consumption. And back at home, there needs to be a look at trends and family dynamics - better insulation, other family members home at the same time (meaning heaters on anyway) and reduced load on the transport system may be better than the researchers are prepared to acknowledge. OK, I haven't seen the source information, but I'll go with the theory it's all crap research that reinforces existing biases in the researchers.

Let me take you through their next report - people have carbon footprints. Doesn’t matter where they work and what they do. They are bastards. The crime is life.


Hat tip to FrogBlog (Working from home against religious precepts)

Lucia Indulgences revisted

Accusations of historic abuse of indulgences seems to pop every once in a while. I've already discussed indulgences in detail on the yet to be resurrected Sir Humphreys, but, its seems there is a need for a re-visitation.

So, if you want to join in the discussion, required reading is the Wikepedia page on Indulgences and the Catholic Answers page on Indulgence myths (with NIHIL OBSTAT, free from doctrinal errors and IMPRIMATUR).

Monday, June 4, 2007

ZenTiger Green Globalisation

Heh. Just after I throw out the line "Green's need to think globally" they wind up their Nelson Conference with Russel Norman's speech: "Green globalisation – engagement and self-reliance"

They recommend that mankind adopt energy efficient technology - so they can take credit when mankind does what it has always done - invent and adopt increasingly efficient technology.

They recommend we share social and natural resources fairly [so] people don’t have their oxygen turned off because they can’t pay the electricity bill. Are they so sure Folole Muliaga had collected all of the social welfare funds she was entitled to that could have enabled her to pay the electricity bill? Given that IRD issue crippling and often fatal financial penalties every day for paying a tax bill late, does nationalizing the grid guarantee customers will pay on time, and that a government department will not overstep the bounds of human decency? ACC any-one?

They ask Why is it that, a decade after the signing of the Kyoto climate protection treaty, our greenhouse emissions continue to climb? Good question. Here's a theory - Because solving the problem by creating new taxes that work like the share market, without the full support of America, and exemptions to major polluters such as China was a stupid idea?

Then they rant against capitalism in general and how Labour and National are to blame for balancing jobs (and standard of living) with the complex interaction required to survive in today's world. They are right to speak of a vision where all is good in the world, and we all live in harmony with nature, food on the table and happy and prosperous citizens. I'm just not convinced their actual policy will match the vision.

However, they would appear infinitely more foolish if Labour and National were actually spouting sensible policy. Luckily for the Greens, whilst the incumbent party is demonstrably useless (if not dangerous and destructive) it remains to be seen if National will be much better. Whilst we have so little choice, the Greens will continue to appear palatable for a significant proportion of the population.

They have managed to find themselves in the position where they can talk about their policy in general terms, and yet criticize Labour and National over their lack of detail. However, you know whatever belt tightening is suggested by National or Labour, will be nothing compared to the crash diet the Greens would put us on should they get their way. They'll either kill the excess weight (aka underclass) or burn too much muscle (aka "producers") and either way, the body will suffer. If you read their press releases, they are positive this is inevitable. The world is finite, it can only sustain so many people they say. Which is why it always seems to be that they are heading right towards a "Let's kill some off in a socially and environmentally responsible way". I'm obviously getting cynical in my old age.

Related Link: Speech: Cars illegal; ethanol, wind and solar power all we need; non-organic farming banned; no greedy rich people allowed, withdraw from WTO; and democracy for China

Lucia Lack of highway a real pain

One of the real downsides of living out of the city, is that when you do want to go into the city to visit your mother on the last day of a long weekend, you realise that you will most likely be stuck in traffic with all the returning holiday-makers, and then you think, just build the highway (Transmission Gully) already!

So, long story short is, the kids have been taken to the pool by their dad, and I'm doing more washing. Probably a good thing, anyway. My older son had run out of socks.

Lucia Sir Humphreys

Sir Humphreys seems to be no more. Maybe it will reappear. I'm guessing that the major problem to resurrecting it is financial support and knowing who to pay to get the site going again. In the meantime, I'll be going through the Google cache saving my posts here. There are a few that I spent a lot of time on that I don't want to lose. Any old posts saved here will be tagged Sir Humphreys.

Here's my farewell.
I cannot continue to post at Sir Humphreys, so this is my farewell post.

My first Sir Humphreys post was on March 29, 2005 nearly two years ago. I feel from that time that I have helped build Sir Humphreys into what it is now, so it is with great sadness that I am having to move on.

I’ve realized over the past two years that I’ve been blogging politically, that the fight for Western Civilisation is not an economic one. Socialism vs Capitalism hides the real battle - the social battle. Utopians have been working to change society over generations for a long time now. As each new generation of children is indoctrinated into the new social order through their teachers and the media, society shifts. The latest shift is the removal of parental authority via the Repeal of S59. Once parents no longer have authority, then more intensive indoctrination can pick up steam.

I grew up in a period of intense social change and have only now really understood just how radically my views were shaped by others to be very different from my parents. If people look back through my posts, they’ll see I’ve done a number on the importance of marriage, yet as a teenager I believed that marriage was an arcane institution that only gave people a piece of paper that really meant nothing.

I started blogging here as a New Agey type and have morphed into a Conservative Roman Catholic as I’ve understood not only that Christianity IS the heart, soul and driving force for our civilization (albeit now in decline) but WHY Christianity IS the heart, soul and driving force for our civilization. In other words discovering the “Is” lead me to the “Why”.

I am also convinced that if things do not change and soon, that the world will degenerate back into barbarism. We only have a veneer of civilization left as people are realizing that the police are not able to protect them from the rising criminal class in NZ. It won’t be much longer before that veneer crumbles. Probably a hundred years ago the police weren't as important as they are now as society kept people in order. Society is now disintegrating as over a period of time, first the citizens and now even the police are prevented from doing anything to stop the rise of crime.

Which all fits in with a Utopian's dream. Make the citizens impotent and you can do anything to mould society into your own nightmare.

I will continue blogging. I’ve started up a new blogsite: NZConservative, to continue writing and sharing my opinions on all and sundry, so anyone who likes reading me and commenting on my posts is quite welcome to have a look.

ZenTiger Greenies need to think globally

The Greenies figure that if NZ becomes carbon neutral, then we've done our bit to save the planet. That other countries will follow suit based on our sterling example. It is of course, total rubbish.

Christ Trotter has his usual rant in the Friday DomPost. He fumes that Helen Clark has lost a marketing opportunity to support the Happy Valley anti-coal mine protesters, by (naturally) flying in on a gas guzzling helicopter and giving a talk that is more about politics than action. And Chris calls for our electricity output to be seriously curtailed with the typical voice of a lefty who makes demands to cut electricity and then gets annoyed when the poor have their electricity cut:
It is neither ethical nor moral to tear up and pollute the wild and beautiful places of this earth, or contribute to the potentially fatal heating of its atmosphere
Whilst these people congratulate themselves on having hatched the perfect plan to save the environment, they fail to acknowledge the reality: it would mean the unpaid electricity bills by people on low incomes would be for amounts that would perhaps be ten times higher than the present cost - and little has been said of the 60% increase in energy prices since Labour gained power.

Regular power outages would put the elderly and sick in grave danger during the coldest winter months, and businesses would struggle with irregular and costly supplies. And all through this, NIMBY and Greenie protest groups would be doing their best to blow away wind farms, damn the hydro schemes and nuke the nuclear option.

If we go as environmental as the Greens desire, NZ better be prepared for more pain.

And I am left wondering if reducing our emissions is a good goal. Thinking globally, is there a case where NZ can produce more beef, more fruit and vegetables, more wool product and even mine more coal and do it in such a way that we can supply other countries that would inevitably do the same, but with far less efficiency and with a far worse impact on the environment than if they bought from NZ?

Perhaps our target shouldn't be tied to a simplistic number based on the population and economy of 1990, but to targets that beat the world performing comparable processes - even with the food miles quotient included.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Fletch Govt Funded organisation gives $38,000 to Hollow Men Play.

Yep, according to this story, Creative NZ (an organisation funded by the Government) is giving a $38,000 grant towards a stage version of Nicky Hagars book, The Hollow Men.

So, not content with stealing money for Helen's pledge card, has Labour found another way to use taxpayer money to fund propaganda against their opponents?

If so; low, really low..

Of course, they will just tell you that they are funding The Arts.

Fletch Philly City Council Ends 79-Year Boy Scout Lease Over Refusal to Accept Homosexual Leaders

Yep, here's another one. These activists just keep pushing, pushing pushing their little agendas.

Philly City Council Ends 79-Year Boy Scout Lease Over Refusal to Accept Homosexual Leaders
By Gudrun Schultz

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, June 1, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Philadelphia City Council voted yesterday to end a nearly 80-year-old lease held by the Boy Scouts local branch over the group's adherence to a national policy banning actively homosexual leaders.

The ongoing dispute pitted the Scouts' Cradle of Liberty Council against homosexual activists over the organization's refusal to adopt an official policy welcoming homosexuals into leadership. The City, under pressure by activist groups, wants the Scouts to either alter the organization's policy or start paying market rent for the use of the historical Beaux Arts building, where the Scout headquarters has been housed since 1928 for a nominal rent.

The resolution permitting the city to end the lease was introduced unexpectedly, according to coverage by the Philadelphia Inquirer, and passed 16-1 with no debate. City councilors stated their hope that the resolution would generate leverage for the city by and open the door to talks resolving the dispute.

Homosexual activist organization Equality Advocates Pennsylvania pushed the city to act on the scout's lease, the Inquirer reported. Executive director Stacey Sobel said yesterday that the Boy Scouts should not be able to use taxpayers' dollars to discriminate against homosexuals.

Scouts take an oath of duty to God as part of their membership, and actively homosexual individuals are not permitted as leaders. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that as a private organization, scouts could restrict homosexuals from leadership, scout groups have faced opposition from local officials revoking privileges where they have refused to alter policy based on the demands of homosexual activists.

The American Family Association of Pennsylvania said the city was caving to the pressure of homosexual activists, in a press release earlier today.

"With an alarming number of children facing violent deaths on the streets of Philadelphia, the city's answer is to target one of the few organizations that offer purpose and meaning to these children. Of the 64,000 members the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council serves, 40,000 are in Philadelphia alone," said Diane Gramley, president of the AFA.

"The Scouts' policy banning open homosexual leaders is the right policy. Would the parents of Girl Scouts want a man to be their daughter's Scout leader? No and neither do parents want a man who is sexually attracted to other males to be Boy Scout leaders. Common sense should prevail here, but it's not."

"Efforts to appease never work. Homosexual activists want a pro-gay policy expressly stating that the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council will accept open homosexuals. They are not concerned with the well-being of the children of Philadelphia and surrounding counties, but instead choose to use them in an effort to make an example out of the Boy Scouts," Gramley said.

Here in NZ (according to Ian Wishart in Eve's Bite), 'the NZ Scouting Orgranisation was quoted in 2000 as "working on policies to ban discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, after a scout leader said he was forced to resign because he was gay. [...] The chairman of [Scouting NZ's equal opportunities group], Lesley Anderson, said developing policies to stop gay members being discriminated against would be at the top of it's meeting this month'.
So what happened next? Wishart goes on to list at least 6 stories from the NZ Herald between 2002-2005 about gay scoutmasters being arrested for abusing boys...